The GOP 2nd Congressional Candidates

So you don’t have to, here is the “Marc’s Notes” version of where the three announced GOP candidates (Mark Zaccaria, Michael Gardiner and Bill Clegg) for RI’s Second Congressional District Seat stand on various issues. This is compiled directly from the “Issues” pages on each candidate’s websites–I paraphrased and used direct quotes to try to get to the nut of their stance on each issue. If a candidate didn’t address a topic, I simply left them out of that category.


The Economy:
Mark Zaccarria: Create a “self-sustaining fund for capital investment” for small business. “No company is too big to fail. The US Government isn’t structured to manage for-profit enterprises, so it should butt out.”
Michael Gardiner: “Jobs could come from a recovery of demand if consumers and employers suddenly had more money to spend.” Cut taxes where feasible, but focus on reducing spending. “Stabilize regulation.”
Bill Clegg: Reduce government spending, simplify the tax code, shrink government.
Zaccaria: Supports “lifetime Health Savings Account (HSA) for individuals that they and their employers could contribute to pre-tax” and “nationwide availability of low cost – high deductable insurance policies to cover you in the event of catastrophic health problems”.
Gardiner: Creating a national market in Health Care will cause savings and lead to more money in people’s pockets (ties it to the Economy).
Clegg: Try “the simplest and most efficient solutions first. Regional pooling, reasonable caps on tort awards, better coordination among states to foster competition, and more consumer–driven health plans…”
Energy and the Environment:
Zaccaria: “Government should spur research into improving the use of traditional fuels and accelerating the development of the green energy technologies that are our future. Drill Here, Drill Now for our immediate needs.”
Gardiner: Intrigued by wind farm idea, “but the government should not subsidize projects unless the numbers make sense. The demand is for cheaper power. Insulation and energy efficient appliances and furnaces provide attainable and durable reduction in consumption.” Seems wary of nuclear power, but willing to expand it. “Respect for the environment should not lead to absolutism, but rather prudence and caution.”
Foreign Policy:
Clegg: “The world is simply not getting any safer or less complex and we must maintain a strong and modern military in order to be prepared for an uncertain future.”
Zaccaria: “Government can also craft an environment where competition lowers the cost of education and where performance, both of students and their institutions, is highlighted, celebrated, and made a factor in achieving our goals.”
Zaccaria: “I favor an easy-to-apply-for Guest Worker program that permits 9 months of legal residence and W-2 wages followed by 3 months back in the country of origin.” Favors use of E-Verify.
Zaccaria: “We must end abortion in the US. The question is how?” Wants to “begin a comprehensive program of leadership where we educate all Americans on the alternatives to abortion and their benefit. Patterned after the 40 Stop Smoking campaign, this initiative would have much more immediate effect since it’s not about personal addiction. No one wants to have an abortion.”
Gardiner: “Save as many as possible without offending individual freedom….I accept Roe v. Wade, but would like to see it modified to protect more life by expanding the definition of life. I would be open to the states states and the people acting in the field by constitutional amendment. I think this is uniquely a woman’s’ issue that that will always be heavily influenced by women.”
Zaccaria: Supports The Defense of Marriage Act, which “squarely puts the question right back where 250 years of American jurisprudence has always placed it: As a right of States to decide for themselves.”
Gardiner: Opposes The Defense of Marriage Act. “I do not believe that the state may choose the gender of your family.”
Gun Issues:
Zaccaria: Supports the 2nd Amendment.
Death Penalty:
Zaccaria: “I believe that there are certain crimes that are so abhorrent that the government will need to sanction a perpetrator with the loss of their very life. Our government should have the ability to use this penalty in cases where it is appropriate.”

Editorial aside: Since Zaccaria is the veteran in this race, his platform is more robust. Overall, his position on each of the issues is about where you’d expect a mainstream Republican to stand. Gardiner seems to be carrying the Moderate Republican mantle: conservative/pragmatic about the economy and the environment and socially liberal. Clegg seems most comfortable talking about the economy and was the only of the three to mention foreign policy/military. He didn’t specifically address some of the cultural hot-button issues, but he talks about encouraging self-reliance and personal responsibility. He also has a slogan prepared, “Raise Trust, Not Taxes.”
Setting aside the questionable wisdom of having three apparently able members of the thin RI GOP bench embarking on the same (probably) quixotic quest to oust a comfortably situated incumbent, I’ll find it interesting to hear Gardiner and Clegg flesh out their positions in contrast to the more established Zaccaria.
Hope they’re all self-funding!

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Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
13 years ago

Mark Zaccarria: Create a “self-sustaining fund for capital investment” for small business. “No company is too big to fail.
I am not opposed to this, but the nature of government needs to be considered.
If this were a Federal program, the “big boys” in government wouldn’t want any part of it. They want to deal with the other “big boys” like GM. The people assigned to it would be “small people”.
I think business people will understand this better than government people, note the “micro loan” programs they are sponsoring in the Third World.
That being how I see it, I think it has to be a local program, with local people.

13 years ago

“Since Zaccaria is the veteran in this race, his platform is more robust. Overall, his position on each of the issues is about where you’d expect a mainstream Republican to stand.”
Hardly. Zaccaria is a Libertarian running as a Republican out of necessity because of our idiotic 2-party system.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

Mark Zaccaria is a USAF veteran who was an instructor pilot on T-38’s.
Did the other two bother to take a few years out of their lives to serve their country?

13 years ago

Joe, SHEESH…read their bios my man (I even linked to their websites for you)!
Clegg: “Bill spent a combined 28 years in the US Army and US Army Reserve. He was a rifle platoon leader in the Big Red One in Germany for several years and he subsequently commanded at every level up to Division. After a deployment to Iraq as an Assistant Division Commander for the 98th Division (USAR), Bill retired in 2005 as a Colonel and was awarded the Legion of Merit.”
Gardiner: “served in the RI Army National Guard from 1981 through 1992 and transferred to the Individual Ready Reserve as a Captain (FA) in 1992.”

13 years ago

Joe, you’re a smart guy and you see through a lot of political puff and blow. That’s why I’m constantly surprised at how easily you fall into the elitist military culture nonsense and all of its trappings. Do you know how tiring it gets observing this big glorified adult fraternity and constantly being referred to as “civilians” in a derogatory manner, or told that you aren’t allowed to hold certain opinions or positions because you haven’t “served”? It’s all a load of self-congratulatory crap, like people who flip out if you don’t call them “doctor” for getting a PhD in history, or the obscure rules of etiquette the aristocracy holds onto to exclude the nouveau riche. Going to some other country and sitting on a military base for a few years on the taxpayer dime or shooting at somebody with a different geo-political designation because our government tells them to doesn’t make somebody a better person. It doesn’t make them a worse person either, it’s simply irrelevant. And let’s keep some perspective, the US hasn’t been in actual danger of invasion for 150 years. People make different vocational choices for themselves, the military makes sense for some, not for others. The military is at least 4 times too big at the moment if we’re being honest with ourselves, and those people would be much better off producing something of value. I don’t fault the individuals for responding to incentives or making that personal choice, but it’s not like they’re all heroes just for putting on a uniform. I guess not buying into the big facade makes me a “coward” now, whatever, I’ve come to expect those kinds of reactions by now.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

Marc:Great-glad to see that they’ve all served.
Dan:Being in the military doesn’t make one a hero.It does indicate a willingness to do something not in one’s own interest for the country.Unless you’re a lifer,in which case it’s a career choice.
I’m hardly an elitist about it(LOL)-I was an enlisted man for over 4 years,not a very impressive position.
Unfortunately,many of the war mongering “patriots”like Cheney,Perle,Wolfowitz,Michael Savage,Rush Limbaugh among others all got out of serving at a time when a lot of others got to make a one way trip.
It’s not a deciding factor when I vote for someone,but I take it into account.

13 years ago

“It does indicate a willingness to do something not in one’s own interest for the country.”
Not really. Even besides the lifers, plenty of people (most?) go into the military because they know they will come out of it with good benefits, hiring preference, low-interest loans, college tuition, and a good political foundation. Or as many have stated, they just want to get out of their hometown and see the world.
Some people join for selfless reasons, others selfish, others a combination of both.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

I don’t care if you blieve me or not,but I enlisted out of a sense of obligation.
What’d I get out it?
GI bill tuition assistance.Preference in civil service hiring.A war veteran license plate.
Cancer,diabetes,and coronary artery disease due to Agent Orange exposure.
As a result of which I get a disability payment monthly and free medical care.
I have no regrets.
I could’ve taken a student deferment,but it seemed unfair to take advantage of such a scam.I was 18 at the time.

Bicycle Bill
Bicycle Bill
13 years ago

Heck, Gates (and I am not taking sides in the primary) has BETTER military qualifications than that “war hero” Jack Reed. Dummycrats NEVER fail to remind us of his. BTW you LEFT OUT Biden, who has, as IMUS pointed out one day to Howard Kurtz the Newsweek hack, THE SAME NUMBER OF deferments as Cheney. Kurtz was just BASHING Cheney one day, Imus asked him about deferments and Kurtz, the moron, thought Imus was teeing him up for another shot.. but Kurtz didn’t know the exact number (fool) so he said “a lot”. Then Imus asked hom how many Biden had and there was suddenly a “you SOB” silence from Kurtzie boy.

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